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The viking age

The viking age
A reader

  • ISBN: 9781487570477
  • Editorial: University of Toronto Press
  • Lugar de la edición: Toronto. Canadá
  • Edición número: 3
  • Colección: Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Medidas: 23 cm
  • Nº Pág.: 552
  • Idiomas: Inglés

Papel: Rústica
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In this extensively revised third edition of The Viking Age: A Reader, Somerville and McDonald successfully bring the Vikings and their world to life for twenty-first-century students and instructors. The diversity of the Viking era is revealed through the remarkable range and variety of sources presented as well as the geographical and chronological coverage of the readings.

The third edition has been reorganized into fifteen chapters. Many sources have been added, including material on gender and warrior women, and a completely new final chapter traces the continuing cultural influence of the Vikings to the present day. The use of visual material has been expanded, and updated maps illustrate historical developments throughout the Viking Age. The English translations of Norse texts, many of them new to this collection, are straightforward and easily accessible, while chapter introductions contextualize the readings.

List of Illustrations



Chapter One: The Scandinavian Homelands

1. The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan
2. A Description of the Islands of the North

Chapter Two: Scandinavian Society

3. The Lay of Rig (Rígsþula)
4. Politics in Harald Finehair’s Norway
5. Hoskuld Buys a Slave
6. Slave Revolts
(a) Hjorleif's Slaves Revolt
(b) A Slave Revolt in Egil's Saga
7. How the Hersir Erling Treated His Slaves

Chapter Three: Early Religion and Belief

8. The Norse Creation-Myth
9. Ragnarok: The Doom of the Gods
10. Odin Welcomes Eirik Bloodax to Valhalla
11. Odin Hangs on Yggdrasil
12. Odin and Human Sacrifice
(a) The Death of King Vikar
(b) The Deaths of Domaldi and Olaf Tretelgja
13. Sigurd, the Earl of Lade, Sacrifices to the Gods
14. The Temple at Uppsala
15. A Temple in Iceland
16. Norse Funeral Practices
(a) Snorri’s History of Burial Practices
(b) Odin Orders Cremation and Becomes a God
(c) The Death of Baldur the Good
(d) Gunnar’s Burial Mound
17. The Living Dead
(a) Gunnar’s Posthumous Poem
(b) Grettir’s Fight with Glam

Chapter Four: Gender in the Viking Age

18. Manly Men
(a) Gunnar Weeps
(b) The Death of Gunnar
(c) Egil and Armod
19. Unmanly Men
(a) Deadly Insults from Grágás
(b) A Flyting between Sinfjotli and Gudmund
(c) Egil in Old Age
20. Strong Women
(a) Unn the Deep-Minded Takes Control of Her Life
(b) The Goading of Hildigunn
(c) The Prowess of Freydis, Daughter of Eirik the Red
21. Mothers and Sons
(a) Gudrun Drives Her Sons to Take Revenge
(b) Gudrun Osvifrsdottir's Incitement of Her Sons
22. Making and Breaking Marriages
(a) Betrothals from the Sagas
(i) The Betrothal of Olaf Hoskuldsson
(ii) How Unn Mordsdottir Found Herself Betrothed
(b) Divorces from the Sagas
(i) How Gudrun Divorced Thorvald
(ii) Vigdis Divorces Thord Goddi
23. Women's Work
(a) Housework in Laxdale Saga
(b) Magical Women
(i) The Greenland Prophetess
(ii) A Phallic Ritual: Passing the Penis
24. Men and Women Behaving Badly
(a) Queen Gunnhild Has Her Way with Hrut
(b) Gisli Sursson Defends the Family Honor
(c) On the Penalties for Poetry
(d) Hallfred the Troublesome Poet and Kolfinna
(e) Grettir the Strong Puts a Woman in Her Place
25. Same-Sex Encounters
(a) Penitential of Saint Thorlak
(b) Civil Penalties in Early Norwegian Law
(c) Njal Gives a Garment to Flosi
(d) King Harold Formsson and the Land-Spirits
(e) Gisli Sursson Fights Skeggi the Berserk
26. Gender Instability: Trans-Gender and Gender-Shifting
(a) From Gulathing Law: On Seriously Insulting Speech
(b) Odin's Wisdom and Arts
(c) From Loki's Flyting (Lokasenna)
(d) Loki and Svadilfari: loki's Adventure as a Mare
27. Cross-Dressing
(a) Thor as a Bride
(b) How Aud Dealt wih Her Humiliating Divorce

Chapter Five: Viking Warriors and Their Weapons

28. The Accomplishments of a Viking Warrior
(a) Earl Rognvald Kali on Being a Gentleman
(b) Gunnar Hamundarson, the Ideal Warrior
(c) Olaf Tryggvason, King of Norway
29. Warrior Women
(a) A Warrior Woman
(b) The Waking of Angantýr (The Lay of Hervor, Hervarakviða)
30. Valkyries
(a) Helgi and Sigrun I
(b) Helgi and Sigrun II
(c) Brynhild's Helride
31. Berserkers and the Berserk Rage
(a) Odin’s Berserks
(b) Egil Skallagrimsson Fights a Berserk
32. Weapons
(a) King Magnus Barelegs Dresses to Kill
(b) The Sword Skofnung
(i) Hrolf Kraki and Skofnung
(ii) Skeggi and Skofnung
(iii) Kormak and Skofnung
(iv) Thorkel Eyolfsson and Skofnung
(v) Gellir Thorkelsson and Skofnung
(c) Saint Olaf’s Sword, Hneitir

Chapter Six: Fjord-Serpents: Viking Ships

33. King Olaf Tryggvason Builds the Long Serpent
34. Harald Sigurdarson’s Splendid Ship
35. Animal Heads on the Prows of Ships
36. A Sea-Battles from the Sagas: Olaf Tryggvason at the Battle of Svold

Chapter Seven: “Sudden and Unforeseen Attacks of Northmen”

37. On the Causes of the Viking Expansion
38. Viking Raids on England, 789–850/1
39. Alcuin’s Letter to King Athelred, 793
40. An English Gospel Book Ransomed from the Vikings
41. Viking Raids on Ireland, 795–842
42. The Martyrdom of Blathmac, 825
43. The Life of Saint Findan
44. Irish Resistance to the Norsemen
45. Franks and Vikings, 800–829
46. The Northmen in France, 843–865
47. An Account of the Siege of Paris, 885–886
48. Vikings in the Iberian Peninsula
(a) Ibn al-Kutia. Year 230 (17 September 844 - 1 October 845)
(b) Ibn Adhari. Year 229 (30 September 843 - 17 September 844)

Chapter Eight: “The Heathens Stayed”: From Raiding To Settlement

49. Viking Activities in England, 851–900
50. The Martyrdom of Saint Edmund
51. The Vikings in Ireland, 845–917
52. Ketil Flatnose and His Descendants in the Hebrides
53. Earl Sigurd and the Establishment of the Earldom of Orkney
54. Runic Inscriptions from Maes Howe, Mainland, Orkney
55. Runic Inscriptions from the Isle of Man
56. Rollo Obtains Normandy from the King of the Franks

Chapter Nine: Austrveg: The Viking Road To The East

57. The Ru¯s
58. The Ru¯s Attack Constantinople
59. On the Arrival of the Varangians
60. A Muslim Diplomat Meets Ru¯ s Merchants on the Volga River
61. River Routes to Constantinople
62. A Norwegian Soldier of Fortune in the East
63. Ru¯ s Expeditions to the Middle East
64. The Yngvar Runestones

Chapter Ten: Into the Western Ocean: The Faeroes, Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland

65. The Islands in the Northern Ocean, c. 825
66. Sailing Directions and Distances in the North Atlantic
67. The Western Ocean
68. Adam of Bremen on Iceland
69. Icelandic Accounts of the Discovery and Settlement of Iceland
(a) The Book of the Icelanders
(b) The Book of Settlements
70. Skallagrim’s Land-Take in Iceland
71. The Settlement of Greenland
(a) The Book of the Icelanders
(b) The Book of Settlements
72. The King’s Mirror on Greenland
73. Adam of Bremen on Vinland
74. The Norse Discovery of Vinland
75. Thorfin Karlsefni in Vinland

Chapter Eleven: Viking Life and Death

76. Advice for Sailors and Merchants
77. Svein Asleifarson’s Viking Life
78. Children
(a) Young Grettir Helps around the Farm
(b) Children Mimic Adults
(c) The Child is Mother of the Woman
(d) Young Egil Plays for Keeps
79. Games and Entertainment
(a) A Horse-fight from Njal’s Saga
(b) Skallagrim's Rough Play
(c) Ball Games and Scraper-Games at Sand from Hord's Saga
(d) Entertainment at a Wedding Feast at Reykjaholar from The Saga of Thorgils and Haflidi
(e ) Mock Lawsuits from The Saga of the People of Ljosavatn
80. The Jomsvikings Meet Their End
81. The Burning of Njal

Chapter Twelve: From Odin to Christ

82. Early Missions to the North: The Life of Saint Anskar
83. The Conversion of the Danes under Harald Bluetooth
84. Olaf Tryggvason and the Conversion of Norway
85. A Poet Abandons the Old Gods
86. The Christianization of Norway under Saint Olaf
87. The Conversion of the Icelanders
88. The Conversion of Greenland
89. The Conversion of Orkney
90. Christianity in Sweden
91. Christianity and the Church in Norway
92. The Travels of King Sigurd, Jerusalem-Farer
93. The Journey of Abbot Nikolas Bergsson from Iceland to Jerusalem

Chapter Thirteen: State-Building at Home and Abroad

94. Harald Finehair and the Unification of Norway
95. Denmark: The Jelling Stone
96. State-Making in Denmark: Unification and Expansion
97. The Martyrdom of Alfeah (Saint Alphege)
98. Knut the Great and the North Sea Empire
99. The England Runestones
100. The Earldom of Orkney at Its Zenith

Chapter Fourteen: The End of the Viking Age

101. The Battle of Clontarf, 1014
102. The Battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066
103. The Battle of Largs, 1263

Chapter Fifteen: Reawakening Angantýr, or Viking Revivals

104. The First Revival
(a) Snorri Sturlson (1179-1241) and Norse Poetics
(b) Saxo Grammaticus and Icelandic Sources
105. Romantic Vikings
(a) The Fatal Sisters: An Ode, from the Norse Tongue
(b) The Vegtam's (Odin's) Kvitha (poem); or The Descent of Odin: An Ode, from the Norse Tongue
106. Operatic Vikings: Richard Wagner (1818-1883), from Das Rheingold, Scene Two
107. Aryan Anthropology: Vikings in Politics
(a) Halfdan Bryn: Methodology
(b) Hans F.K. Günther on Nordic Man
(c) Alfred Rosenberg: Creative Men and Beautiful, Motherly Women
108. The Gods Reborn
(a) Carl Jung: "Wotanism"
(b) Odin Lives
(c) Odinism in America
(d) Versions of Ásatrú
(i) The Icelandic Forn Sed Norge / The Society of the Ancient Faith in Norway
109. Plundering the Vikings, from The Irish Times
110. The Vikings in the Courtroom of History: Terrorists, Tourists, Others
(a) Savage Warriors
(b) Piracy and Commerce
(c) Intruders of a Recognizable Type?
(d) Revisiting the Revisionists
(e) The Viking Diaspora


111. Advice from Odin


Index of Topics

Index of Authors and Sources

Contains 14 illustrations


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